Reports of Information Removed from Government Websites

Since the Trump Administration took office, reports of information going missing from government websites have caused confusion and worry. Volunteers from government and civil society have been working to preserve as much online government data as possible, with groups like the End Of Term Harvest and DataRefuge bringing archivists and hackers together to harvest data and other information from government websites.  

House Committee holds oversight hearing on FBI’s use of facial recognition technology

Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology, raising serious secrecy and privacy concerns about the collection and sharing of such biometrics data. The hearing is the first time the FBI has been forced to testify, under oath, at the same table as the privacy advocates who have been calling for greater scrutiny of the FBI’s biometric information collection and sharing programs for years.

Join us in welcoming OTG’s new Executive Director

OpenTheGovernment.org (OTG) is pleased to announce its new Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg. Lisa joins OTG today, March 20, 2017. She succeeds Patrice McDermott, who is retiring after more than a decade leading the organization.

Lisa Rosenberg , Incoming OTG Executive Director, said:

“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead OTG’s engaged community of organizations working to make the government more open and accountable. This work is more important than ever and I look forward to getting started.”

Senators call for FOIA compliance, full implementation of the 2016 FOIA reforms

In the spirit of Sunshine Week, and National Freedom of Information Day, Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Cornyn, and Grassley sent letters to the Trump Administration on March 15, 2017, calling for full compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and strong implementation of the 2016 FOIA reforms. The letters request information on the specific steps that are underway to carry out the reforms passed last year, and to improve proactive disclosure of information. 

Senators Urge White House to Comply with Presidential Records Act

On March 3, Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper wrote to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, voicing their concern about reports of White House officials using personal electronic messaging accounts while conducting official business, and asking that he ensure that President Trump and his staff are complying with the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

Join us on March 13th to Celebrate Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week 2017 will take place March 12th to 18th, throughout Washington, DC, and across the country. On Wednesday, March 15th, OTG is co-sponsoring an event at the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, featuring a panel discussion hosted by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) and the Newseum Institute, Accessing Information in the Trump Administration.

Updated: OMB responds to coalition letter on stripping online government data

On February 13, a group of 69 public interest organizations dedicated to open and accountable government, free speech, civil rights, consumer protection, the environment, and other issues called on federal agencies to fulfill their legal requirement to provide the public with adequate notice before removing public information from government websites.